How to Draw a Portuguese Man O’ War

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Portuguese Man O War in 5 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Portuguese Man O War.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Portuguese Man O War - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Let us start by drawing the body outline of the Portuguese Man O’ War. Use a roughly triangular bubble shape.

Step 2: Next, draw a similar outline above the body to show the “sail” of the Portuguese Man O’ War.

Step 3: Then, draw the spikes along the sail using long dashes and dots.

Step 4: Draw the tentacles of the Portuguese Man O’ War using squiggly lines. Make some tentacles shorter and some longer than the other.

Step 5: Draw the longer thread-like tentacles of the Portuguese Man O’ War as shown in the image. After you finish your drawing, you can add shading to it.

Interesting Facts about the Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis):

The Portuguese man o’ war looks like a jellyfish, but is actually an animal made up of four different animals working together! The scientific name for a creature that is actually multiple animals is siphonophore. The Portuguese man o’ war gets its common name from the top animal, which looks like the sails of a warship sailing the seas. It is an invertebrate that lives in the tropical and subtropical oceans and seas of the world.

Did you know?

  • The tentacles of a Portuguese man o’ war are usually about ten meters long, but can sometimes get as long as fifty meters!
  • A Portuguese man o’ war can still sting you with its tentacles, even after it is dead and washed ashore.
  • The Portuguese man o’ war has no way of moving on its own. The ocean currents and the wind are what move it from place to place.
  • The Portuguese man o’ war is strictly carnivorous.
  • There is a small fish called the clownfish than can swim with a Portuguese man o’ war and not be stung by its tentacles. The fish is kept protected from other predators this way.

Many people get stung by Portuguese man o’ war tentacles each year. The sting is extremely painful and looks like a bright red whip-mark on the skin. The sting will not usually kill a person, but it does sometimes happen. This is why it is important to seek medical attention if you or someone you care about gets stung by a Portuguese man o’ war.